Help in troubleshooting one of my zones

Hi all,
I’m using Rachio for 2+ years. Based on the experience from the last couple of years, and utilising the plenty of time we now have as we stay at home… I decided to tweak around and get a better irrigation setup - but found that I need some support.
One of my new zones is a zone dedicated to my fruit trees. There is one line, going through all the trees (11 trees), and each tree got a set of emitters based on consumption (eg. my Avocado & Mango got a set of 10 2GPH emitters, while my pomegranate tree got only two 1 GPH emitters. This allows me to provide more water to the “thirsty” trees.
I am not sure how to set this zone up. I’ve set the zone for trees, the spray head as emitters, and got the right soil/sun/slope details in. I tried to put it in my main flex schedule and on a manual session of 75 minutes - to track and see how to fine tune settings.
It seems that rachio calculated that 3.83cm is the 100% moisture level - which seems to be very low number for trees. On average I got 0.35cm crop evaporation (also low value - it is warm here) - which should mean it should water once every ~10 days. However, one session of 75 minutes irrigation provides 285cm of water. This is a huge number and I’m not sure where it comes from.

Would appreciate insights if you have any.

You’ll need to look at the advanced zone settings. It’s likely your root depth is set very deep by default - much deeper than mango and avocados would ever go. Also check the precipitation rate or nozzle cm/hr. There’s ways to calculate from GPH based on canopy cover. See:

Of course you’ll need to convert to cm/hr.

Well, Tried to follow the instructions and started running through the set of calculations. I got to the point where I know the rate is 0.6cm/h. Got all in, but yet, the amount in each watering is huge. see here:

A total of 134.88 cm of watering for 75 minutes run.
If I compare it to another zone:

It is of a smaller area, not trees, and a shallower root but (sun and soil are the same) double the precipitation rate. for a 30 minutes run I get 0.34 cm… I can’t understand the huge difference.
If I will add my trees’ zone to a flex schedule, probably 1 minutes of watering, and rachio will decide it’s enough!

Appreciate any clues you might have.

The good news is, from what I see for the top zone you screen captured, that 134.88cm you see are apparently from past waterings (woah) and should not be for future waterings. If the zone is running for 75 minutes, that’s 1.25 hours of watering. At 0.6cm/hr, the zone in the future should apply about 0.75cm each watering. Seems reasonable. You’ll note that your top moisture chart shows 0 forecasted waterings for several days in the row because it thinks the zone has plenty of moisture. There should be a > button at the far right of the chart to see more future waterings; in fact, the next column it shows should have a non-zero for irrigation.

Hope this helps!

A thought: for a zone with 30cm root depth, 0.6cm/hr, a 75 minutes watering time seems low. I’d have expected closer to 3 hours. Are you sure the flex schedule is watering for only 75 minutes? At 0.75cm applied over 75 minutes, Flex should want to water almost every day or every other day to keep up with your ET ~.6cm once it starts to hit the 50% depletion line.

I guess at 134% crop coefficient & the rest of the settings, Rachio may very well want to water every day! Never seen a zone with that high of a crop coefficient. So it’s probably right, and I’m basing my expectations for time watered on crop coefficients < 100% (75-90% for my stone fruit trees).

Well, this zone is not working properly with flex. I’m currently using a fixed daily schedule which runs for 75 minutes. The numbers you see are with the new values that I’ve set a week ago. I really can’t understand the crazy numbers. As for the 134% crop coefficient, I’ve been playing with it. It was 95% before which had no effect on the overall precipitation and a minor effect on the pace water are used.
I really don’t understand what is wrong with this zone. Although rachio accurately shows the amount of water used in each run, the 134cm of watering seems way wrong.

Can you press the > button to the right of the chart and see what the table says for expected irrigation cm on May 5th or 6th? Your fixed/other schedule is probably causing the 135cm past irrigation measurements. There’s a disclosure on the irrigation row of the table you can tap to see what schedule type is watering.

See here:

There is a flex schedule - but it is only for 1 minute - and as you can see, will provide 2.35 cm?!
Yesterday I ran an extra 5 minutes to measure the amount of water being used. The zone is defined correctly - both my measurement, and Rachio show the same consumption (a rate of 420 liter per hour), but the irrigation depth is weird.

Well, at least we’ve determined the 134.88cm was applied from a different type of schedule, not this flex schedule. 2.35cm seems way more reasonable, however at 0.6cm/hr, that should run about 4 hours long. Which is what I had suspected. Where are you getting the schedule run time of 1 minute? That doesn’t make any sense. The irrigation depth makes sense, the run time does not.

Well, see here:

You can see in the save column the 0.02 hours save due to the long manual watering done just before.

I also tried watering for 1 minute, looking at the graphs before and after. 2.35 cm added after one minute of watering. I really don’t understand.

Perhaps I should erase the zone and then add it again?

Maybe. My guess is a bizarre US measurement unit to metric unit (or other way around) messed things up somewhere… I should note you can find the schedule duration in the flex schedule screen to verify times. If the schedule duration is one minute that’s no good. It should be a few hours long at that root depth and cm/hr. Can you verify the actual schedule duration on the schedule’s settings screen? If it’s 1 minute, delete the flex schedule and redo it.

Btw if you’re looking at water usage via Rachio for drip that’s going to be a useless number. Ignore the liters that Rachio gives unless you have some kind of flow meter or a lawn with evenly distributed watering. Don’t bother with the reported usage for drip. Use only the time units.

Well, duration is 1 min

I have a fertiliser dosing injector ( connected to all zones but lawns. With its app I can measure the flow rate of each zone. I can use the number to calculate accurate perception rate and then I guess using that I can trust the estimated usage. I have used time before, but tried to move to litres and slowly get all zones with the right numbers.

I’ll try in a couple of days to recreate zone and check it out. it is raining today, so no watering is planned,

Yes then I suggest delete & redoing the schedule. You shouldn’t have to redo the zone to get the right duration. If it still pops up as 1 minute after redoing all that, please contact support.

Never heard of that fertigation system. Neat!

Well, updated today. Schedule set to 3+ hours. Now lets see what happens when I water.

3+ hours sounds right for deep watering! Great. Keep an eye on those plants. You may need to tune root depth and/or crop evapotranspiration if they seem stressed or overwatered.

Well, here are the details after a couple of days. Happy to report that this was an application bug. I’ve disabled the zone, re-enabled it, changed from trees to annuals, and then back to trees, removed from all schedules, restored advanced settings to default and then re-adjusted to fit reality and then restored to the main flex schedule. Watering time was defined as 3+ hours, as I’ve reported above. I’ve modified it to a lower duration of 75 minutes. Trees in my region in this season require more frequent watering - works best for tropical trees. 75 minutes of watering provides 2.23 cm of water. This is a bit weird, as ~1.8 was set to be 100% moisture needed by the app. So probably less than an hour will bring me from minimum (50% depletion) to 100%. Don’t understand why it was defined as 3+ hours - seems much to long.
Any way, getting back to normal numbers is good!
One recommendation new feature for the app could be a zone reset - clear all value and disable the zone with a press of a button.


Glad you’ve got it figured out! Thanks for letting us know. FYI, if you want Flex to manage duration instead of manual adjustments, reducing the root depth would lower watering duration though frequency should increase.

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